Portugal’s beautiful coastline, warm sunny weather, and rich cultural history make it a compelling place to study. It is mainland Europe’s most western country and also one of the most affordable European countries to study in.
With much of the country surrounded by coastlines, Portugal is known for its maritime heritage. The only country it borders is Spain to the east and north, while the south and west are exposed to the Atlantic Ocean. With summer temperatures in the 80s and winter temperatures rarely dropping below 40, Portugal has a great climate. The warm climate combined with the beautiful coastline makes Portugal perfect for beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts.
Portugal has a relatively homogenous population compared to other European countries and is still strongly religious, with a Roman Catholic majority. The country is also known for its lenient stance on drugs, being the first state to decriminalize the use of all drugs. Many see the positive effects on the country as it has fewer drug-related problems than the European average. Portuguese is the main language and is also the third most widely spoken European language worldwide. English is not widely spoken but is becoming more common with the influx of tourists to the country.
However, there are a number of programs and courses that are taught in English. The higher education system is composed of two types of institutions. First, there are regular public universities, which often have places specifically for non-EU students. Then there are polytechnics, which take a more vocational approach, providing students with profession-orientated skills. Generally, public universities are more highly regarded than polytechnics.